Last updated
Logo of TAME.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program TAME Millas
Subsidiaries Air Quito
Fleet size13
Destinations 25
Parent company Ecuadorian Government
Headquarters Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Key peopleFernando Guerrero (CEO)
Website www.tame.com.ec

TAME or TAME EP Linea Aerea del Ecuador is an airline founded in 1962. TAME (pronounced "tah-meh") is the flag carrier and the largest airline of Ecuador. TAME headquarters are in Quito, Pichincha Province and the main hub is Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito. The airline was formed by the Air Force of Ecuador. In 2011, it became a commercial entity and now provides domestic, international and charter flights.

A flag carrier is a transportation company, such as an airline or shipping company, that, being locally registered in a given sovereign state, enjoys preferential rights or privileges accorded by the government for international operations. The term also refers to any carrier that is or was owned by a government, even long after their privatization when preferential rights or privileges continue.

Ecuador Republic in South America

Ecuador, officially the Republic of Ecuador, is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the mainland. The capital city is Quito, which is also the largest city.

Quito Capital city in Pichincha, Ecuador

Quito is the capital and the largest city of Ecuador, and at an elevation of 2,850 metres (9,350 ft) above sea level, it is the second-highest official capital city in the world, after La Paz, and the one which is closest to the equator. It is located in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha, an active stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains.



TAME Douglas DC-6B at Miami in 1972 Douglas DC-6B FAE43266 TAM Ecuador MIA 170472 edited-2.jpg
TAME Douglas DC-6B at Miami in 1972
TAME logo, 1962 to 2009 TAME Linea Aerea del Ecuador logo (1962 - 2009).svg
TAME logo, 1962 to 2009
A TAME A319 at Bogota in 2010, with the new design and logo Tame aircraft Bogota airport.JPG
A TAME A319 at Bogotá in 2010, with the new design and logo
Embraer 170 100 9762.JPG
Embraer 170
Airbus A320 in Mariscal Lamar Airport, Cuenca, Ecuador. TAME A320 Mariscal Lamar Airport Cuenca Ecuador.jpg
Airbus A320 in Mariscal Lamar Airport, Cuenca, Ecuador.
TAME Airbus A320 with old livery at Mariscal Sucre Airport, Quito, Ecuador. TAME Airbus A320 Ramirez.jpg
TAME Airbus A320 with old livery at Mariscal Sucre Airport, Quito, Ecuador.
TAME Embraer 190 Embraer190tame.jpg
TAME Embraer 190

The military airline was founded on December 17, 1962, by Luis A. Ortega under Guillermo Freile Posso, both colonels. It was named Transportes Aéreos Militares Ecuatorianos (TAME). At the time, the Air Force required an income source; governmental transport services to remote and difficult to reach parts of Ecuador; and an entity to train pilots. The airline gradually increased in size infrastructure and number of services.

On December 4, 1962, Luis A. Ortega, Hector Granja, Eduardo Sandoval, Alfredo Barreiro, Oswaldo Lara, Julio Espinosa, Teodoro Malo and Jose Montesinos made inaugural flights in the Dakota C-47. The pilots held the rank of major and noncommissioned officers worked as flight attendants. The first commercial flight was made by Teodoro Malo on a route from Quito, Esmeraldas, Bahía, Manta, Guayaquil, Cuenca and back to Quito. Initially, TAME made domestic flights using C-47 planes. Gradually, over the next two years, DC-3 and DC-6 planes were added and then in 1970, two HS-748 Avro were acquired.

Esmeraldas, Ecuador Place in Esmeraldas, Ecuador

Esmeraldas is a coastal city in northwestern Ecuador. It is the seat of the Esmeraldas Canton and capital of the Esmeraldas Province. It has an international sea port and a small airport. Esmeraldas is the major seaport of northwestern Ecuador, and it lies on the Pacific coast at the mouth of the Esmeraldas River. It is exactly at the antipodes of Padang, Indonesia. The city is the principal trading hub for the region's agricultural and lumber resources, and is the terminus of the 313-mile (504-km) Trans-Ecuadorian Pipeline from the oil fields in northeastern Ecuador.

Manta, Ecuador City in Manabí, Ecuador

Manta is a mid-sized city in Manabí Province, Ecuador. It is the second most populous city in the province, the fifth most populous in the country. Manta has existed since Pre-Columbian times. It was a trading post for the Mantas. According to the 2001 census, the city had 192,322 inhabitants. Its main economic activity is tuna fishing. Other economic activities include tourism and a chemical industry with products from cleaning supplies to oils and margarine.

Guayaquil City in Guayas, Ecuador

Guayaquil, officially Santiago de Guayaquil is the second largest city in Ecuador, with 2,578,201 people in its metropolitan area. It is also the nation's main port. The city is the capital of Guayas Province and the seat of Guayaquil canton.

On April 30, 1966, TAME began regular international flights to Havana, Panama and Santiago de Chile.

Havana Capital city of Cuba

Havana is the capital city, largest city, province, major port, and leading commercial center of Cuba. The city has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of 781.58 km2 (301.77 sq mi) – making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region.

Panama A Republic in Central America

Panama, officially the Republic of Panama, is a country in Central America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people.

As its business grew, TAME purchased four Lockheed L-188 Electras from Ecuatoriana de Aviación. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, TAME added three Boeing 727–100s. During the mid-1980s and up until 1992, Tame purchased four Boeing 727–200s. In 1986, three Fokker F28 Fellowship 4000s were added. In December 1998, TAME rented a Boeing 757–200.

Lockheed L-188 Electra four-engined turboprop airliner family

The Lockheed L-188 Electra is an American turboprop airliner built by Lockheed. First flown in 1957, it was the first large turboprop airliner built in the United States. Initial sales were good, but after two fatal crashes that led to expensive modifications to fix a design defect, no more were ordered. With its unique high power-to-weight ratio, huge propellers and very short wings, large Fowler flaps which significantly increased effective wing area when extended, and four-engined design, the airplane had airfield performance capabilities unmatched by many jet transport aircraft even today—particularly on short runways and high field elevations. Jet airliners soon supplanted turboprops for many purposes, and many Electras were modified as freighters. Some Electras are still being used in various roles into the 21st century. The airframe was also used as the basis for the much more successful Lockheed P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft.

In 2000, TAME began a long process of fleet renewal beginning with the renting of two Airbus A320s. These planes were delivered at the European Corporation Assemble factory, Toulouse and were renewed in 2008. Also in 2000, the Boeing 727–100 and 200 were retired. TAME found the Embraer 170/190s suited the airline's needs. Over the next two years, two models of the 170 series and one of the 190 series were obtained. On August 25, 2008, one Airbus A319 was obtained and soon after the two Airbus A320s were replaced, completing the fleet renewal.

Toulouse Prefecture and commune in Occitanie, France

Toulouse is the capital of the French department of Haute-Garonne and of the region of Occitanie. The city is on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, 230 km (143 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean and 680 km (420 mi) from Paris. It is the fourth-largest city in France, with 466,297 inhabitants as of January 2014. In France, Toulouse is called the "Pink City".

In 2011, Tame changed its legal status to a state owned company, no longer under the administration of the Ecuador Air Force.

TAME's colours are blue, light blue, and gold as a decorative element. The original logo, designed by Luis A. Ortega symbolised the flight of a bird with a sun in the background. In 2010, the airline was rebranded with a new logo and colour palette.


TAME's hub is in Quito at Mariscal Sucre International Airport. TAME flies internationally to Cali and Bogota in Colombia, as well as Fort Lauderdale in the United States. The main destinations in Ecuador are Guayaquil, Cuenca, Manta and Esmeraldas. Other destinations for charter flights include Cartagena, San Andres, Punta Cana, Jamaica, Havana, Varadero, and Curaçao.


In December 1992, the governments of Ecuador and Colombia signed the "Frontier Integration Agreement" establishing a Quito, Esmeraldas (Tachina), Cali, Esmeraldas (Tachina), Quito route. In 1995, TAME offered flights from Quito to Bogota for Air France passengers. In 1997, TAME extended its international schedule through an agreement with EVA AIR of Taiwan. On December 1, 2010, a codeshare agreement was made with Copa Airlines [1] [2]


As of November 2018, the TAME fleet comprises the following aircraft: [3] [4]

TAME Fleet
AircraftIn ServiceOrdersPassengersNotes
Airbus A319-100 112150162
Airbus A320-200 112150162
ATR 42–500 35050
Embraer 190AR 3HC-CGG stored

Since its foundation, the airline's fleet has grown from the Douglas DC-3 and Douglas DC-6 planes, the Avro 748 and the Lockheed Electra to the Airbus A330, Airbus A320 and A319, as well as the Embraer 170 and 190. The Airbus A320 HC-CID began operations on August 27, 2009. [5] |} History fleet Airbus a330 Boeing 727 Boeing 737 Boeing 757 Quest Kodiak 100

1969 hijacking

On September 6, 1969 twelve men and one woman, armed with machine guns, hijacked two TAME Douglas C-47s at Quito Mariscal Sucre Airport. The hijackers shot and killed one crewman and wounded another. The hijackers told the passengers that the hijacking was in retaliation for the deaths of several students during anti-government rioting at the University of Guayaquil in May 1969. Both aircraft flew to Tumaco, Colombia for refueling. One aircraft was left behind as the hijackers continued on to Panama's Tocumen International Airport. After a thirty-minute refueling stop, the aircraft continued to Kingston, Jamaica. After a 71-minute refueling stop, the plane left Kingston at 9 p.m., finally landing in Cuba. [6] [7]


1976 HC-AUE

On January 20, 1976, a TAME Hawker Siddeley HS-748-246 Srs. 2A with registration HC-AUE crashed while flying over mountainous terrain. The plane was flying at 10,000 feet then struck trees with its right wing, lost control and crashed into the side of a mountain. The plane was en route from Loja to Guayaquil's Simón Bolívar International Airport. Six crew members and 28 passengers died. There were eight survivors.

1981 HC-BAX

On May 22, 1981, a TAME de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 with registration HC-BAX crashed into a fog-shrouded mountain near Zumba. It was flying in formation with a Beech 200 (HC-BHG), which also crashed into the mountain. Fifteen passengers and three crew members on the Twin Otter died.

1983 HC-BIG

On July 11, 1983, a TAME Boeing 737–200 with registration HC-BIG crashed while on final approach to Mariscal Lamar Airport in Cuenca. The crash was caused by the crew's lack of training in the aircraft type. All 119 people on board were killed. This was the most lethal event in the history of Ecuadorian aviation. (See TAME 737-200 crash).

1984 Twin Otter

On November 20, 1984, a TAME de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 crashed into a hill while flying between Loja and Zumba. Twelve passengers and two crew members died.

1988 HC-AZY

On September 12, 1988, a TAME Lockheed L-188 Electra with registration HC-AZY took off from Lago Agrio airport on a ferry flight to Quito with the "number 2" engine inoperative. Immediately after takeoff, the "number 1" engine exploded causing the aircraft to veer left and crash. Six crew members and one passenger died.

1998 HC-BSU

On April 20, 1998, Air France Flight 422, a TAME Boeing 727–200 with registration HC-BSU, crashed into the “El Cable” cerro minutes after taking off from Bogota's El Dorado International Airport en route to Quito. In bad weather, the crew failed to execute proper departure procedures. Instead of turning, they flew in a straight line into the hill. Fifty-three passengers and crew members died.

2002 HC-BLF

On January 28, 2002, Flight 120, a Boeing 727–100 with registration HC-BLF, departed from Mariscal Sucre Airport, Quito en route to Tulcán. Several minutes outside Tulcán, the control tower lost contact with the aircraft. The aeroplane collided with the Cumbal Volcano causing the death of all 94 passengers and crew. The crash occurred because the captain flew too fast into the final turn.

Runway Accidents

2011 HC-CEZ

On September 16, 2011, TAME flight 148, an Embraer E-Jet family with registration HC-CEZ departed from Loja. On takeoff, at 1911h, the plane slid off the runway. All 97 passengers and 6 crew survived.

2016 HC-COX

On April 28, 2016, at 0750h, TAME flight 173 from Quito landed at Cuenca airport in bad weather. The Embraer with registration HC-COX, slid off the runway. All 87 passengers and 6 crew survived.

See also

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This is a list of aviation-related events from 1969:

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1976:

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1977, This is the year of the second-deadliest air disaster in history, the Tenerife airport disaster. Here are the aviation events of 1977:

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1979:

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Old Mariscal Sucre International Airport international airport serving Quito, Ecuador, starting operations 1960

Mariscal Sucre International Airport was the main international airport serving Quito, Pichincha Province, Ecuador. It was the busiest airport in Ecuador by passenger traffic, by aircraft movement and by cargo movement, and one of the busiest airports in South America. It was named after Venezuelan-born Antonio José de Sucre, a hero of Ecuadorian and Latin American independence. It began operations in 1960, and during its last years of operation, handled about 6.2 million passengers and 164,000 metric tons of freight per year. The airport, one of the highest in the world was located in the northern part of the city, in the Chaupicruz parish, within 5 minutes of Quito's financial center; the terminals were located at the intersection of Amazonas and La Prensa avenues. Mariscal Sucre International was the largest hub for TAME with an average of 50 daily departures.

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Mariscal Sucre International Airport airport in Ecuador

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  1. TAME enters the Panamanian market El Universo company website. November 10, 2010. Accessed December 22, 2010. (In Spanish)
  2. TAME enters the Panamanian market El Universo company website. November 10, 2010. Accessed December 22, 2010 (in English)
  3. "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2017): 13.|access-date= requires |url= (help)
  4. Airfleets|Accessed August 2018
  5. Roll out: TAME Nuevo avion Nueva imagen Accessed September 3, 2009.
  6. Hijacking description Aviation Safety Network. Accessed February 14, 2011.
  7. Hijacking description Aviation Safety Network. Accessed February 14, 2011.

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/ .